On Not Being an Ex-Mormon

I recently had the opportunity to see Jeremy Runnells talk at a café off Main and Broadway in downtown SLC. He was there to talk about his pending church disciplinary court (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here), and though I’m glad I went, I have to admit it was a pretty awkward experience for me. From what I could tell, the crowd was overwhelmingly ex-Mormon — which is pretty understandable, given the circumstances — and I am still an active believing member. I don’t think I had ev … [Read more...]

Netflix’s Daredevil and The Ghost of Frank Miller

Frank Miller is more powerful than he's ever been.His political rants have left his longtime fans embarrassed. His lackluster work of recent years has left younger generations of comic book fans uninterested. But there is no denying that in 2016, we are on the verge of peak Miller.The most obvious reason would, of course, be because Zack Snyder's upcoming superhero epic Batman vs Superman has taken its cues from Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Despite the fact that his name tends to … [Read more...]

Emergent Theology: Steven Peck’s “Evolving Faith”

Drawing dragons got me seriously thinking about evolution for the first time.My earlier attempts at drawing had almost all been tracing, but I found none of the images of dragons I found satisfactory. What was more unfortunate was that dragons didn’t exist (spoiler), so I had no reference photos. Consequently, I had to break them down into their component parts. For the first time in my life, I found myself studying bones and muscles.I not only studied how my own muscles expanded and … [Read more...]

Drones and Realism in the Middle East

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by the military, have become a contentious issue within American foreign affairs. Neoconservatives have called for stronger military engagement within the Middle East, with those on the left wishing to back away from any military intervention within the region. Though these opinions are not often based within political theory. Realism has been used as a guide within American foreign policy for multiple presidential administrations, and … [Read more...]

The Courage and Light of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the 1963 civil rights protests in Alabama that landed Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Birmingham jail, King warned his fellows: I want to make a point that I think everyone here should consider very carefully and decide if he wants to be with this campaign. . . . I have to tell you that in my judgment, some of the people sitting here today will not come back alive from this campaign. And I want you to think about it. Deadly violence … [Read more...]

Explaining the Bundys sans Mormonism

As a Mormon, it's hard for me to watch or listen to anything the Bundy boys say without being instantly reminded that they represent a very real element within my belief system. One that I don't happen to agree with or particularly like, but is nevertheless tied to a shared history. When I hear Ammon Bundy bearing his testimony that he knows the federal government isn't true, I close my eyes and wish this wasn't all somehow rooted in the faith we share.So, for those of you who feel like I do … [Read more...]

In His Final Performance, David Bowie Embraced Death

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, only to find that David Bowie died last night, just days after his 69th birthday.I'm devastated. No other musician or pop star filled my life with such joy and mystery. "Legendary musician" doesn't even begin to cover it. David Bowie was elemental, everchanging, and I assumed eternal. I took his presence on earth for granted, evidenced by my review of his latest album Blackstar, published just two days before he died. The conclusion is mostly a re … [Read more...]

Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]